The Eurasian Coalition on Male Health (ECOM) is pleased to announce that its Concept Note for the regional program “Right to Health: Community Actions to Increase Access of MSM and Transgender People to HIV Services in Central and Eastern Europe and Central Asia” was endorsed by the Global Fund and, thus, will proceed to the grant-making stage.

The development of the regional program has taken 11 months and involved thorough work with the communities, partner networks of other key populations, Country Coordinating Mechanisms, technical partners, and other stakeholders.

“This is a great accomplishment for ECOM that wouldn’t be possible without the input of ECOM’s members and partners who have been closely involved in the development of the Concept Note,” said ECOM’s Executive Director, Vitaly Djuma, “We are eager to continue working together on increasing access of gay men and other MSM, and trans* people to HIV services in our region”.

The program’s three main objectives are:

  • to contribute to an increase in MSM and trans* community participation in decision-making in national HIV responses;
  • to contribute to building the capacity of MSM and trans* organizations by strengthening organizational structures, technical competence and fundraising capacity; and
  • to strengthen enabling environments for HIV services for MSM and trans* people, by fighting stigma and discrimination, promoting and protecting human rights, and removing legal and policy barriers.

The Global Fund’s Technical Review Panel (TRP) found the Concept Note to be technically sound and strategically focused and noted that all interventions proposed are of the highest priority.

The regional program will be implemented in five countries: Armenia, Belarus, Georgia, Kyrgyzstan, and Macedonia. Further information on the Concept Note’s development process and content can be found on ECOM’s website.

In the following months, ECOM will work with the Global Fund on grant-making. Therefore, the Regional Program will kick off in early 2017.